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Ghana funds ten youth start-ups

Ghana has recently launched the Presidential Pitch competition; a business idea competition that aims to expand the entrepreneurial climate in the country and enable its youth come up with creative ideas that would be developed into global enterprises

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Ghana has recently launched the Presidential Pitch competition; a business idea competition that aims to expand the entrepreneurial climate in the country and enable its youth come up with creative ideas that would be developed into global enterprises.

The maiden edition of the competition is an embodiment of the Ghanaian government’s efforts to implement policies and programmes that will create and expand the frontiers of ecosystem entrepreneurship skills among Ghanaian youth.

The competition operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Business Development which oversees it. They received over 2000 Business proposals nationwide. The 20 shortlisted proposals were benchmarked, based on four thematic areas; feasibility, innovative, scalability and impact fullness. These selected 20 youth entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, will be assigned mentors and attached to various businesses. The rest will remain at the Ministry’s incubator hub for further developing them into viable businesses opportunities.

Read Also: Kenya looks up to Google’s Project Loon for better internet coverage

Out of the ten entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas is 19 year old Vanessa Aisha Liman, from Sissala in the Upper West Region, walked away with a cash price of USD 10, 50 on top of a personal donation of USD 5250 from the President of the Republic of Ghana. Abdul-Salam Mohammed came in as runners-up and won USD 10,000, followed closely by Ahmed Tijani who took home USD 9,386. The 7 remaining competitors taking away a cash price of USD 6,250 each.

President Akufo-Addo, who launched the Presidential Pitch on Monday, expressed his optimism and expectation that the 10 beneficiary companies would help “create jobs and employment for at least three people each.

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Uganda’s Diamond Trust Bank partners TerraPay for ease of global money transfers

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Leading Ugandan bank, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda (DTBU), has entered into a partnership with global cross-border payments network company, TerraPay, aimed at expanding international money transfers and strengthening financial inclusion in the country.

While announcing the strategic partnership on Friday, DTBU, a member of the Diamond Trust Bank Group, said both firms will deliver unparalleled benefits to customers worldwide with the key attributes of the partnership being the “ability to facilitate direct account deposits from any part of the world and leverage DTB’s renowned brand name to optimize advantages for customers across the globe.”

A statement by the Managing Director, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, Varghese Thambi, noted that the partnership is poised to “significantly narrow the financial inclusion gap, streamlining the processes of money transfer, savings, and credit accessibility for individuals.”

“We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible banking experience.

“This partnership with TerraPay will allow us to offer our customers faster, more convenient, and more secure money transfers, with lower fees.

“By forging this collaboration with TerraPay, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda will witness an expansion in its customer base for international money transfers, consequently bolstering direct international investments within the nation.

“Notably, this initiative will greatly benefit customers and expatriates residing in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, Germany, Qatar, Canada, and Europe, granting them the capability to execute real-time money transfers to their loved ones in Uganda, a pivotal hub within this partnership.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Willie Kanyeki, TerraPay’s Vice President, East and South Africa, said:

“We are excited to partner with Diamond Trust Bank Uganda to expand our reach in East Africa and make it easier for people to send and receive money across borders.

“This partnership will help us achieve our goal of providing everyone with access to affordable, reliable financial services. Diamond Trust Bank Uganda is a well-respected bank with a strong track record of providing excellent customer service.

“We are confident that this partnership will be a success and will help promote financial inclusion in the region, by simplifying global money movement for both individuals and businesses, making it easier than ever to connect with loved ones and also, empower global commerce.”

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South African mobile operators announce new services to combat fraud

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South African mobile operators have unveiled new Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) services that will help checkmate and combat internet fraud in the country.

The move which is part of the global GSMA Open Gateway initiative will enable the operators to implement world-class Number Verification and SIM Swap, and will be available to all mobile commerce and financial institutions and developers to create new services to combat digital fraud and protect South Africa’s 47 million mobile subscribers.

Angela Wamola, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa of the GSMA, who announced the unveiling of the services, said it was in response to a series of complaints of digital banking fraud which saw a 24% surge in reported cases in 2022.

Banking fraud is a growing threat in South Africa, and mobile network operators are strategically placed to work with developers to help banks, financial institutions and commerce providers mitigate the risk and protect their customers,” she said.

“The availability of the two APIs to South African operators will equip enterprises with additional means of verifying that their customers are who they say they are and protecting them against identity theft, all while maintaining the user experience – and the GSMA’s.

“The new APIs ensure 100% privacy and will have important applications in sectors including banking, finance, insurance, and retail.”

Quoting a report published last year by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), Wamola said the rise in banking fraud resulted in cyber criminals stealing over R740 million from unsuspecting victims, which was primarily attributed to the growing number of fraud cases related to banking applications and online banking.

“Given the alarming surge in digital banking fraud in South Africa, standardizing APIs by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) presents a promising avenue for mitigating such threats.

“They are also able to implement robust fraud detection and prevention mechanisms, bolstering overall resilience of digital banking systems against cyber threats,” Wamola emphasized.

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